Retirement Watch Lighthouse Logo


Found 100 Articles.
Get access to our full article archive by subscribing to Retirement Watch and Retirement Watch Spotlight Series.

The Qualified Personal Residence Trust: A Classic Estate Planning Tool

January 28, 2020

One of the most difficult problems in an estate plan often is the family home or vacation home. It is an especially significant problem for estates that are likely to be taxable. A principal residence or vacation home is likely to have significant value. The key to reducing estate taxes is to remove property from […]

Mastering the Nuts and Bolts of Living Trusts

December 15, 2019

Many people, perhaps most people, have living trusts as part of their estate plans. Yet, the communications I receive indicate that the workings of living trusts are a mystery to most people. Living trusts, also known as revocable living trusts, are a key element of most estate plans, because the assets held in a living […]

estate planning

Is the “QTIP Trust” Right for Your Estate Plan? Part II

September 24, 2019

In last week’s edition of Retirement Watch Weekly, I introduced my readers to Qualified Terminal Interest Property (QTIP) trusts. Today, we’ll examine the most ideal situations in which to use them. 1. At least one spouse has children from a prior marriage, and that spouse wants to ensure that those children get at least a […]


Is the “QTIP Trust” Right for Your Estate Plan?

September 17, 2019

As we’ve seen, it is easy to cut your estate taxes to zero, especially if you’re married. All you have to do is leave everything to your spouse. Your estate gets an unlimited marital deduction for all property left to your spouse. So having your spouse inherit everything eliminates taxes on your estate. Despite the […]

Supreme Court Shuts Down a State Scheme to Tax Out-of-State Trusts

September 17, 2019

States have been aggressively trying to expand their tax bases, and their efforts aren’t always successful. The U.S. Supreme Court recently shut down an attempt by North Carolina, which other states have fully or partially replicated, to impose income taxes on what are essentially out-of-state trusts. In the case, the trustee resided in Connecticut, the […]

How to Choose Between Wills and Trusts

January 23, 2019

There are two tools available for passing the bulk of your legacy to others, and the best choice for one person might not be a good choice for another. The foundation of your estate plan can be either a will or a trust, usually a revocable Living Trust. They’re not exclusive. Most estates have both […]

Avoiding the Major Mistake Made with Most Trusts

October 15, 2018

Many people leave money on the table and holes in their estate plans when they use the traditional approach to creating and planning trusts. The traditional approach is to name one trustee to manage every-thing about the trust. Sometimes this is a professional trustee, such as a bank or trust company, but it also could […]

The Charitable Remainder Trust: How to Protect & Stretch Your IRA

September 19, 2018

The number of people naming charitable trusts as IRA beneficiaries is climbing, and for good reasons. Typically, IRA beneficiaries are individuals, often the surviving spouse or the adult children of the owner. The goal often is to create a Stretch IRA, with the beneficiary taking only required minimum distributions (RMDs) each year so the tax-deferred […]

May 2021:
Congress Comes for your Retirement Money
A devastating new law has just been enacted, with serious consequences for anyone holding an IRA, pension, or 401(k). Fortunately, there are still steps you can take to sidestep Congress, starting with this ONE SIMPLE MOVE.

Log In

Forgot Password